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Hero’s Pose Twist (Virasana) with Blanket & Block

1. Kneel on the yoga mat, on a blanket if desired, with a foam block close at hand. Keep the knees together (if possible), then spread the feet about eighteen inches apart.

2. Rest the buttocks back onto the block that is placed between the ankles on its lowest or second-lowest height. (If it is difficult to separate your heels far enough apart to place the block between them, then try to simply sit on your heels. If your buttocks do not rest easily on your heels, then insert a blanket between your butt and your heels.)

3. The feet and inner calves rest alongside the thighs.

4. Check to make sure the toes are pointing straight back as the tops of the feet soften into the floor. (If you feel any discomfort in the shins or in the tops of the feet, place a blanket on the yoga mat under your legs/feet.)

5. Rest the palms on the tops of the thighs and sit up straight.

6. Enjoy this comfortable position for three inhales to the count of 1-2-3-4 and three exhales to the count of 4-3-2-1. Release any tension in the body on the exhales and sit up more straight on the inhales. Acknowledge the ground beneath, supporting the weight of your body.

7. On an inhale, bring the arms up above the head. Check that the shoulders are still relaxed away from the ears.

8. As you exhale, twist to the right, placing the left palm on the right knee and the right hand on the floor (or on another foam block behind you if you're sitting up on some props). Look over your right shoulder. Count three inhales and exhales, each to the count of 1-2-3-4. On the third exhale, release and come back to center.

9. Repeat on the left side, inhaling arms up, exhaling twisting left, looking over the left shoulder for three breaths, and then returning to the center on an exhale.

Bonus: In the video I included an extra side lateral stretch that I always include in my daily routine right after doing this Hero's pose twist.